Open Mic: Blowing Out The Candles

I don’t care what anybody says, but Autumn is the best season of the year. The atmosphere totally rocks. The leaves change colors, the wind starts gusting just a little bit more, it gets a bit colder and darkness fills up the sky much quicker. Fall gives me a valid excuse to rock my Jncos, my long sleeve tees, my killer hoodies and I can wear suits without feeling steamy. There are so many awesome holidays like Columbus Day (where my working brethren get a day off), Halloween (where kids get free candy), Thanksgiving (so we can stuff ourselves with awesome food) and my birthday on Roctober 26. And you can’t forget about Homecomings. After all, there are tons of parties and opportunities to get inebriated. So many great memories happen people and this is truly my time of the year.

Whenever Roctober hits, I take an enjoyable trip down memory lane. I traveled back through time the other day. I was driving my ’98 Durango and blasted KoRn’s “Got the Life.” It was bumping. Everyone knew what it was about, even old folks gasped for air.

It was Fall of ’98 and innovative movement began. Some people called it rap metal, others coined it nu metal, but I appreciated it for what it was: funky rock music. KoRn just hit it big with “Got the Life” and paved the way for a new breed of angry music. KoRn became the “new” fathers of metal and had their children of the KoRn in developing bands like Limp Bizkit, Incubus and Rammstein. The football jersey, baggy shirt and backwards hat style of dress apparel made it abundantly clear that this was more than music, rather a cultural movement.

This proposes the ever-so-important question of what do you do with so these power pop bands? You take them on tour and teach them family values. That’s it! KoRn took their children on tour and cleverly billed it “The Family Values Tour.” Say what you will, but it worked. Because of this concert series, fans got to familiar themselves with Incubus, Rammstein, Orgy, Limp Bizkit and Ice Cube. Of course, this helped out KoRn a tad little bit. This would be the last time some people heard of these groups. Orgy couldn’t produce another successful cover song (they had a “Blue Monday” to say the least) and Rammstein got hated on (Du Hast).

Could there be signs of this becoming annual? Perhaps. For the most part, everyone benefited, especially Limp Bizkit. They got so big, they had the privilege of headlining the ’99 bill. The ’99 Tour got Primus, Staind, Filter and the Crystal Method some mainstream exposure. And staying true to the Hip-Hop Roots, Method Man, Redman, Mobb Deep and Ja Rule (pre-Murder Inc. years) got in on the scoop. Sadly, Family Values would return once more, in 2001 where Stone Temple Pilots brought Linkin Park, Staind, Static-X and Deadsy for the ride.

Perhaps the day this “rock” style died was the day Family Values discontinued. Honestly, what other tour was going to introduce fans to this type of music? Ozzfest is too hardcore. Llollapalooza is too artsy. Lillithfair already had enough bitches. The bottom line is this: whether you like the above bands or not, the Family Values Tour was a brilliant idea. It became the big tour of the Autumn and introduce new faces to a rock and rap audience. It also really enhanced a lot of careers. A lot of bands blew up. And the fact of the matter is a lot of people say rap rock was a trend that died when KoRn and Limp Bizkit took a backseat. I say the day that music died is when the heart disappeared and quite frankly, the heart was the tour that started it all: The Family Values Tour. Rap Metal died in 2001. Who cares?

Now that I think about it, honestly believe this tour could still be a huge success. Think about it.

A) Family Values was always advertised as the tour of the Autumn. There isn’t another annual concert series which is being held at this time.

B) Bands that have been on the bill before are coming out with new albums. Staind just came out with Chapter V and a hard hitting band like Disturbed, who just debuted on the Billboard Charts at number one with Ten Thousand Fists could be a major headliner. With KoRn, Linkin Park, Velvet Revolver and Incubus going into the studio, they could highlight the tour in the future.

C) This tour would be an excellent opportunity to showcase developing talent (like it did in the beginning). For example, KoRn has a few bands under their label Elementree and Limp Bizkit has Puddle of Mudd, She Sought Revenge, Revolution Smile and Ringside on Flawless Records, Family Values would be a great way to introduce these groups to these audiences.

Shit, why am I wasting my breath with this? Nobody cares. I probably lost readers once I mentioned 1998 or Lillithfair. It’s not like any band will be reading this (even if they did, no one would act on the idea).

So yeah, my birthday is Roctober 26 and I know I’m not going to be getting much of anything. I know I won’t be writing for Rolling Stone and I know I won’t hosting some music program. I also know I won’t be seeing Family Values this year. Well, here’s to another year and another birthday wish that won’t come true. Blow out the candles.